September saw a predictable rise in unemployment in Malaga province and the Costa del Sol as the peak summer tourist season ended.
Official data released on Tuesday shows that there were 2,780 more unemployed in the area, an increase of two per cent. Of these, 21,500, some 15 per cent, have been looking for work for more than four years.
The monthly figure is only based on information from the government's social security register, and excludes those looking for work but not registered at unemployment or social security offices.
The recent decline in the number of unemployed appears to be ending, with the fresh data supporting the trend seen in August of a slowdown in job creation.
Service industries were chiefly to blame for the rise in Malaga province, with a 3.5 per cent increase in jobless. Meanwhile there was net job creation in the local agricultural, construction and industrial sectors.
Provincial leader of the Comisiones Obreras trade union, Fernando Cubillo, said that the 15 per cent long-term unemployed was particularly concerning.
"Remember that these unemployed have no rights to benefits left, they are on the edge of social exclusion and have difficulty getting back into the labour market," he explained. He added that half the long-term unemployed are women over 55.